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Ma Qing Hua joins Citroën on WTCC grid for Moscow

Chinese driver Ma Qing Hua will make his World Touring Car Championship début for Citroën at this weekend’s round in Moscow, racing a fourth C-Elysée.

Ma will become the first driver from mainland China to drive in the WTCC, despite the series having held races in the country for the past three years, as well as having raced in Macau since the resurrection of the championship in 2005.

The 26-year-old admits he is looking forward to joining a professional works team and making his début in Russia. Ma will contest four events alongside Citroën’s regular drivers in 2014.

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“I can’t wait to get out and race again, in a high-quality championship and as part of a very professional outfit,” said Ma. “A few weeks ago, I spent a lot of time at the technical centre in Versailles. It was really special to see the old Dakar Rally and WRC cars, which have won so many races and titles.

“I got the opportunity to meet the whole team and we spent a long time getting me set up in the C-Elysée WTCC. I had taken part in several test sessions over the winter, and I then did another day in Navarra, which enabled us to work more specifically on the setup of my car.”

Ma has already been in attendance at a WTCC event with the team in order to understand how everything works during a race weekend. The Chinese driver joined Citroën at the Slovakiaring in May.

“That was a great experience too,” added Ma. “Citroën Racing seems to be like one big family, and by the end of the weekend, I felt like I was part of it. So, in Moscow, I won’t have to worry about finding out how the team operates during the races. I’m ready to go and looking forward to a new challenge!”

Although Ma is the first driver from mainland China to join the WTCC, there have been numerous drivers from other parts of Asia. The WTCC has seen 16 drivers from Macau, 11 drivers from Hong Kong, 1 driver from Singapore and 1 driver from Taiwan over the past ten seasons.

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